- 1 medium (1-pound) eggplant, cut into 24 extra-thin rounds*
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar or turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 small whole-wheat dinner rolls, split, fresh or lightly grilled
- 2 small/medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 8 slices each
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ounce fresh baby arugula
- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Arrange the eggplant rounds onto 2 large unbleached parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly onto the top of each eggplant round. Bake until the eggplant rounds are browned and just crisp, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Transfer eggplant bacon directly to a cooling rack. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow to further crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the avocado, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth.
- Spread the avocado mixture into the rolls. (Hint: Make sure rolls contain no eggs if you wish to keep this recipe vegan.) Place the tomatoes onto the bottom portion of the rolls; sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the eggplant bacon (3 slices each) and arugula. Add the roll tops, secure each slider with a bamboo pick, and serve.
Per serving: 220 calories, 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 30g total carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 8g sugar, 5g protein
*NOTE: The thinner the better for the eggplant slices. So it you get more than 24 slices, that will work just fine! Before cooking, the eggplant slices I used in this recipe ranged from 2 3/4- to 3 1/2-inches diameter. After cooking, they ranged from 2- to 2 1/2-inches diameter.
- Serving Size: 1 slider